How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is a virus that is transmitted through specific bodily fluids (blood, semen, breastmilk). HIV can be transmitted during unprotected sex, through sharing needles, from mother-to-baby during pregnancy or birth, and through contaminated blood transfusions. You cannot contract HIV through saliva, sweat, urine, sharing food, or non-sexual physical contact with an infected person.
Why is HIV a problem in East Africa?
East Africa’s HIV epidemic is generalized – affecting all sections of society including children, young people, adults, women and men. Due to lack of education about the disease and how it is transmitted, there is a higher prevalence of infection among people living in poverty. Women are particularly vulnerable to infection because of lack of access to education and resources.
What is an undetectable viral load?
Someone living with HIV can have an 'undetectable' viral load, meaning effective treatment has lowered the amount of HIV virus in their blood to levels where it cannot be detected by a blood test. Those who have an undetectable viral load cannot pass the virus to others.
Is the epidemic getting any better?
The infection rate has fallen from 10.5% in 1996 to 6% in recent years. Although the overall infection rate has fallen, there is still a high infection rate in urban slums, and unfortunately the infection rate is rising in youth populations.
If medication is free, why do people need a program?
Medication is free through the Kenyan government, but without social services and education related to nutrition and medication adherence, HIV+ men and women are still at risk of opportunistic infection and premature death.
How do you address mother to child transmission?
Mother to child transmission is avoidable with proper medical care and a hygienic birth. We ensure that each client in our program has access to what she needs to prevent mother to child transmission, and we are proud that 92% of the babies born to mothers in the CARE for AIDS program have been born HIV-negative.